Maria Richards, Earth Sciences, Elected to Geothermal Resources Council Board of Directors

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is governed by a Board of Directors, elected by the general membership to 2-year terms. To provide continuity, half of the Board is elected every year. All GRC members are eligible for election to the Board of Directors.

The global GRC membership took part in the ballot in November, and the result was that three new members of the Board were elected:

Katherine Young: Senior energy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, USA.

Maria Richards: Geothermal laboratory coordinator in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, Texas, USA.

Masami Nakagawa: Associate professor at Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Golden, Colorado, USA.

Katherine Young, Maria Richards and Masami Nakagawa join the seven other members who have been re-elected to the Board of Directors: Richard Campbell, James Lovekin, Joseph Moore, Louis Capuano III, Dennis Gilles, Roy Mink and Shigeto Yamada.

At the end of 2014, the GRC membership stands at over 1,450 from 49 different countries.

Photos of the new Board of Directors can be seen on the GRC Website at http://www.geothermal.org/BOD.html

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About the Geothermal Resources Council:

With the experience and dedication of its diverse, international membership bolstering a more than 40-year track record, the Geothermal Resources Council has built a solid reputation as the one of the world’s preeminent geothermal associations. The GRC serves as a focal point for continuing professional development for its members through its outreach, information transfer and education services.

For more information, please visit http://www.geothermal.org.

 

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Senior fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies receives annual ‘Security 7′ award

SMU cyber warrior Fred Chang receives annual ‘Security 7′ award
Posted: December 16th, 2014

SMU’s cyber warrior, Fred Chang, has been named an Information Security Magazine “Security 7″ award winner, which annually spotlights information security leaders at the top of their profession.

Chang, who is former research director for the National Security Agency (NSA), joined the SMU faculty in September 2013 as the first Bobby B. Lyle Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security. He was named founding director of the Lyle School of Engineering’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security at the announcement of its creation in Jan. 2014.

“The Security 7 award recognizes security professionals who are making important contributions to their organizations and the security community,” said Kathleen Richards, features editor for Tech Target Information Security Magazine and SearchSecurity.com. “Frederick Chang is one of this year’s winners because he has served the industry in government, commercial and research capacities and is now tackling one of the security industry’s greatest challenges – educating the next generation of security specialists.” READ MORE

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Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry, good and the bad about blue light

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The Bright Side And Dark Side Of Blue Light

By JUSTIN MARTIN

Light is necessary for life on earth, but scientists believe that too much of a certain wavelength can cause everything from crop diseases to changes in the migratory patterns of animals. SMU professor Brian Zoltowski is working to unravel the mystery of blue light in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. LISTEN HERE

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Luisa del Rosal, Dedman College student, education ops may further integrate economies of Mexico, U.S.

By ALFREDO CORCHADO acorchado@dallasnews.com
Mexico Bureau

Published: 13 December 2014 11:49 PM
Updated: 14 December 2014 12:03 AM
Related
Mexican professionals bringing ambition, startups to North Texas
Educational opportunity is another factor drawing talented Mexicans to North Texas.

David Arreaga, from the northern Mexico state of Coahuila, is a Ph.D. candidate and researcher in the materials science department at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he spends most days seeking high-tech solutions for medical problems such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

In 2008, a UTD professor urged Arreaga to consider Dallas as an option. At the time, Arreaga worked for an auto company in Saltillo, Mexico. He was climbing the company ladder, traveling to the United States and Germany for training, but he also saw limitations.

Even though roughly half of Mexico’s population is now considered middle class, the wage gap with the United States is still so wide that it will take years, if not decades, for it to close. For Arreaga, recently married and wanting a better future for his family, that was too long to wait.

On his first trip to Dallas, he was struck by what he called its “high-technology infrastructure,” including research labs, technology giants like Texas Instruments and promising startup companies. He said he saw “limitless possibilities.”

“Dallas opened my eyes to a new world and provided me with opportunities unheard of back in Mexico,” Arreaga said.

Arreaga is founder of a company called Ares Flexible Electronics, which aims to develop technologies for biomedical devices and other applications. He also leads a network of young professionals set up by the Mexican Consulate in Dallas.

Arreaga, 28, recently sat alongside other young Mexicans on a bright autumn day at the consulate as Consul General José Antonio Tripp Villanueva announced education agreements with area universities aimed at providing higher-learning opportunities for hundreds of young Mexicans. Such opportunities are needed, Tripp said, to serve the emerging economy in Mexico.

The timing is critical. In just over a year, Mexico has passed 16 constitutional reforms in areas ranging from energy to telecommunications. Experts say the changes could generate billions for the Mexican economy and create an economic spillover into the United States.

Reforms in the energy industry alone could create as many as 300,000 jobs in Mexico and economic benefits for Texas, said Pia Orrenius, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

“If all goes well, you’re looking at an even more integrated economy, with workers from Mexico and Texas crisscrossing,” she said.

Luisa del Rosal, a native of Chihuahua state, had planned to go to college at Tech de Monterrey in Mexico, but a trip to Dallas and a tour of the Southern Methodist University campus changed that.

She majored in political science with a minor in sociology at SMU. Today, at 28, she is assistant director of programs at SMU’s John G. Tower Center for Political Studies. She helps recruit top students from around the world, particularly Mexico…… READ MORE HERE

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Anne Lincoln, Sociology, cited in a story about changing the paradigms regarding women in math/science careers

Science Magazine

Originally posted: December 4, 2014

Science, argued physicist and philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn in his seminal 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, makes fundamental advances when new, unfamiliar intellectual paradigms replace older, accepted ones that can no longer account for important data and observations. But new paradigms, Kuhn added, inevitably face resistance from people committed, whether intellectually or personally, to a former consensus that no longer adequately explains the evidence. It’s likely that we’re witnessing something of the sort right now, in a discussion that has vexed academic science for decades: Why do women constitute a minority of faculty members, especially in math-intensive fields?

The conflict between new and old flared into public view in October, when a pair of well-regarded Cornell University psychologists, Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci, published an essay in The New York Times challenging long-established orthodoxy. “Academic Science Isn’t Sexist,” declares the headline (although editors, not article authors, determine headlines, usually with the aim of attracting readers). “[T]he experiences of young and midcareer women in math-intensive fields are, for the most part, similar to those of their male counterparts,” the authors write.

By “experiences” Williams and Ceci mean the objective facts of who is currently getting jobs and promotions, not how it feels to enter and advance in a field traditionally considered male. Contrary to the accepted narrative of pervasive sexism and gender discrimination, they write, current data show that women scientists now “are more likely to receive hiring offers [than men], are paid roughly the same …, are generally tenured and promoted at the same rate …, remain in their fields at roughly the same rate, have their grants funded and articles accepted as often and are about as satisfied with their jobs. Articles published by women are cited as often as those by men. In sum, with a few exceptions, the world of academic science in math-based fields today reflects gender fairness, rather than gender bias.”

Williams and Ceci acknowledge the long history of discrimination against women scientists, but their conclusion about the current situation derives from a nuanced and meticulous 67-page literature review they wrote with two leading labor-market economists, Donna Ginther of the University of Kansas and Shulamit Kahn of Boston University, and published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest. As our colleagues at ScienceInsider and Science Careers have noted, objections to the Times essay immediately erupted in the blogosphere, and some scholars of the subject have expressed reservations.

Still, the review firmly concludes that today—in fields where fewer women than men are obtaining faculty posts—the reason is that fewer women are applying for the jobs. After detailed examination of eight possible explanations for this discrepancy, the authors declare themselves unable to specify a cause. Some revealing light on this question, though, comes from other recently published research. READ MORE

READ MORE ON ANNE LINCOLN

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Zhong Lu, Earth Sciences, part of a research team whose principle won a Science of Risk award from Lloyd’s

A research paper published earlier this year in Nature Communications has been awarded a Science of Risk prize by Lloyd’s at a ceremony last week [27 November].

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The research, led by Dr Juliet Biggs of the University of Bristol, looked at satellite imagery data for 500 volcanoes worldwide, monitoring which volcanoes were deforming to establish statistical evidence of their eruption potential.

Further testing of this link could eventually develop into a forecast system for all volcanoes, including those that are remote and inaccessible.

Volcanic deformation can be caused by magma moving or pressuring underground. Magma rising towards the surface could be a sign of an imminent eruption. On the other hand, many other factors influence volcano deformation and, even if magma is rising, it may stop short, rather than erupting.

Dr Juliet Biggs and colleagues in the School of Earth Sciences: Dr Susanna Ebmeier, Professor Willy Aspinall, and Professor Stephen Sparks, collaborated with fellow academics Dr Matthew Pritchard from Cornell University, Dr Tamsin Mather from the University of Oxford and Dr Zhong Lu from Southern Methodist University. READ FULL PRESS RELEASE

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Sam Ross Sloan Selected as Peruna Professor

1417462023Congratulations to Lecturer of English, Sam Ross Sloan!

In this the Year of the Faculty, SMU students voted for professors they feel are exceptional and inspiring. The winners were honored with a surprise visit from our beloved mascot Peruna in recognition of their outstanding work. Watch the Video.

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Rapid Readings Presented by Greg Brownderville and 13 SMU poets

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Dedman College student launches ESL class for custodial workers

Dallas Morning News

Originally posted: December 7, 2014

Ran Subba spends his days cleaning the facilities at Southern Methodist University. But on Friday nights, he can be found in the classroom.

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He’s one of 13 campus custodians taking English lessons through a program launched by SMU student Jaime Sisson, a senior studying Spanish and education. Sisson said she started the course expecting most of her students were Spanish speakers. But, like Subba, many speak Nepalese.

“We cannot do anything without education,” Subba said. “I wanted to study ESL, but I didn’t know a place to go.”

Sisson’s class fills that need.

Subba moved to Dallas four years ago after spending 18 years as a refugee in Nepal. He’s originally from Bhutan. The 52-year-old Aramark employee first started practicing English with a friend on the job because he couldn’t understand his supervisor, Subba said.

“If I can understand more English, and if I can read more English, I can do anything,” he said.

Subba said he hopes learning English can help him land a job as a supervisor or even a translator. Sisson, 23, says she wants to help custodial workers like Subba achieve their goals.

“I just saw a need, and I wanted to help my community,” Sisson said. “They basically want to improve their life and their job.”

Sisson teaches the class through the Engaged Learning and Caswell Leadership programs, two SMU programs that fund independent student projects. She said she had to alter her initial teaching plans after she realized that many of her students weren’t Spanish speakers. READ MORE

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Andrea Meltzer, Psychology, contraception may affect how happy women are with their husbands

Medical Xpress
by Kathleen Haughney

Originally Posted: December 3, 2014

Choosing a partner while on the pill may affect a woman’s marital satisfaction, according to a new study from Florida State University and Southern Methodist University.

In fact, the pill may be altering how attractive a woman finds a man.
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers examined 118 newlywed couples for up to four years. The women were regularly surveyed with questions asking them about their level of satisfaction with the relationship and their use of contraceptives.

The results showed that women who were using hormonal contraceptives when they met their husband experienced a drop in marital satisfaction after they discontinued a hormone-based birth control. But, what’s interesting is how the change in their satisfaction related to their husbands’ facial attractiveness. READ MORE

READ MORE ON ANDREA MELTZER

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